Car accidents often lead to some of the most terrible and painful experiences a person goes through. Accidents can leave victims with serious injuries, damaged property, and tons of medical bills piling up. Some accidents even lead to job losses and broken relationships. If you were in a car accident, you may have suffered some of these consequences.
If you’re like most people, you don’t know how you’re going to deal with the financial, physical, and even mental consequences of everything you suffered. But take heart—you don’t have to do this alone. Seek the help of dedicated medical professionals and experienced car accident lawyer who can help you get your life back on track. Let’s look at what some common types of car accidents people file a claim for and what you can expect.
Car Accident Statistics for the United States
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, car accidents injure over 2,700,000 people per year in the United States. Each year, between six million and seven million crashes occur, killing more than 35,000. By some estimates, car accidents are the 18th most common cause of death in the United States. Car accidents are a huge problem in the United States.
The most common cause of car accidents, distracted driving, can be easily avoided but usually isn’t. In recent years, with more cars on the roads and the rise of smartphones, the rate and severity of car accidents have grown exponentially. If you were in a car accident in the last year, you’re certainly not alone. You have the right to seek help recovering financial compensation if another driver caused the crash.
The Most Common Types of Car Accidents
Out of the millions of car accidents each year, a few types occur more commonly. Most of these accidents result from driver error, whether purposeful or accidental. The most common types of car accidents include:
- Front-impact collisions. This type of collision most commonly results from driver error. Drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and passing in unsafe zones are common reasons for front-impact crashes. Over 2 million front impact collisions occur each year.
- Rear impact collisions. Rear impact collisions, or rear-endings, usually happen when drivers are distracted, speeding, or driving drunk. In these situations, they miss that the car in front of them has stopped moving and end up hitting it. Over one million rear-impact collisions occur each year.
- Left side-impact collisions. Left side-impact collisions often occur when one car tries to turn in front of an oncoming vehicle when it’s unsafe to do so. These accidents sometimes occur when a car tries to make it across an intersection before another car arrives and doesn’t quite make it.
- Right side-impact collisions. These types of accidents also occur commonly in intersections. For example, if one car tries to turn left in front of an oncoming car, it will probably be hit on the right side by that oncoming vehicle.
- Sideswipe collisions. Sideswipe collisions usually happen when a driver tries to switch lanes or swerves into another lane due to distraction or alcoholic influence. These accidents commonly happen when drivers forget to check their blind spots before switching lanes, which often happens on freeways and highways where fast traffic is traveling in the same direction.
- Rollover collisions. Rollover collisions commonly affect larger vehicles like trucks or vans because these cars have very high centers of gravity. When these cars hit something or have to swerve suddenly, they tip much more easily than cars that are lower and nearer to the ground. This tipping usually leads cars and trucks to roll across the road or off it and down the side embankment.
- Single car accidents. Single car accidents usually happen when one car hits an obstruction on the road, a side rail, or an animal trying to cross in front of traffic. More accidents occur with fixed objects (like telephone poles) than non-fixed objects (animals or debris). Usually, these accidents occur when a driver is distracted or if road conditions are bad (wet or icy) and the driver can’t stop or turn in time.
These are the common types of car accidents you might experience around the United States. While some are more dangerous than others, all can lead to serious damage and injury for those involved.
The Most Common Types of Injuries in Car Accidents
When you’re in an accident, your body will experience extreme forces. Airbags and other objects may hit you. If the accident crushes your car, you may suffer damage from the pressure of all that metal. And if you’re thrown from the car, you’re likely to suffer all sorts of cuts, bruises, and breaks.
Here are the most common types of injuries in car accidents:
- Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head flies forward before your neck can stop it. Because your neck and head have relatively no protection in a crash, your neck will suffer from the strain of keeping your head from flying forward after an impact.
- Back injuries. Back injuries are usually caused by the same sort of strain as whiplash. When your body stops suddenly, the big jolt strains soft tissues and muscles. Back injuries may damage your spine or simply strain your muscles and other soft tissues.
- Broken bones. Airbags can break your ribs if they hit them hard enough. If you’re thrown from your car or crushed under its weight, you’ll probably find that you suffer from broken bones in your legs, arms, and even in your back.
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations. Most car accidents result in some skin damage, whether from the car itself or objects in the car that hit you (mugs, cell phones, dashboard equipment, etc.). If you end up on the road, you’ll probably have lacerations from the concrete or gravel.
- Burns. Many car accidents lead to fires and/or very hot equipment. If you’re not able to stay away from these dangers, you might suffer serious burns.
- Head injuries. As mentioned, your head may be the least protected part of your body in a crash. It’s not unusual for a collision with the dashboard, steering wheel, or road to severely damage the head. Cuts, bruises, and internal injuries like concussions are all common.
While this list covers the most common injuries that result from a car accident, you might be affected by any number of other injuries as well.You may not register all injuries immediately due to shock. Shock can deaden pain, so you don’t notice the damage to your body at first. You must get medical help as soon as you’ve been in a crash so that you don’t suffer any more than you have to. Call an ambulance right away, or get someone else to do it for you.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Immediately following an accident, you may be so shocked and injured that you aren’t sure what to do. However, keep your head and follow the best practices for dealing with a car accident so that you minimize your suffering. When you’re in a crash, try to remember these steps:
- Get off the road, if possible, and remain calm. Panicking won’t help the situation and will likely make it worse.
- Call an ambulance to ensure that you and other injured parties get medical attention.
- Call the police. You will need them to help you sort out what happened and write up an official police report that you can use as evidence in case of a personal injury claim.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with any drivers involved in the crash.
- Get contact information and, if possible, written statements from any witnesses. Eyewitness evidence is one of the most important factors in determining fault in a crash and helping victims pursue a personal injury claim.
- Take photos. Try to capture important elements of the scene such as injuries and damage to cars or other property.
- Call your insurance company. You must report the claim to your insurance company as soon as possible. Just make sure you don’t say anything to them that sounds like you are taking the blame for what happened. You must never admit fault, even if others encourage you to do so.
- Call a personal injury lawyer nearby. As soon as you can, get in touch with a car accident lawyer. If you want any compensation in your claim, you will need a lawyer who can get you the settlement that you deserve.
Types of Compensation in Typical Car Accidents
After a car accident, the first thing on your mind should be recovering as quickly as possible. However, after you’re feeling better, you will soon start to notice the many bills for property damage repair and medical expenses that are piling up. If you know the accident was not your fault, you will certainly want to seek out compensation from the person who has caused you so much pain and suffering.
To effectively get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need evidence of certain types of damages. These damages can be both economic and non-economic, but they all cover what you lost because of the accident. The most common types of damages you can claim compensation for include:
- Medical expenses, both present and future. You should calculate emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, special equipment, and ongoing therapy in your estimated costs.
- Property damage repair expenses for damage to your car or other property such as a phone.
- Lost income that you lost when taking time off work to recover from your injuries.
- Lost earning capacity that may result if you can no longer return to your job in the same capacity or at all.
- Pain and suffering in general.
- Emotional distress such as PTSD.
- Lost consortium (i.e., broken relationships).
- Loss of life enjoyment, which often occurs when you can no longer perform activities you used to love.
- Disfigurement, scarring, and temporary or permanent disability.
You may recover other compensation, depending on your case. For example, if someone you love died in the accident, you can claim compensation for certain damages. It’s best to talk to a lawyer to determine what damages you deserve.
To collect damages, you’ll need evidence. This might include medical records and bills, property repair receipts, witness statements, a journal of your suffering, testimony from friends and family, documentation of lost work and/or income, and even expert witness from medical experts who can testify to your future physical suffering. Your attorneys can help you gather this evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney After Your Car Accident
Car accidents can lead to so much loss and devastation. Don’t go through the recovery process alone. Don’t pay for the damage that someone else’s reckless actions caused. If you were in an accident that someone else caused, seek compensation from the responsible party. To do that effectively, you need help from an attorney.
A personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate your claim with insurance companies, and ensure you get the money you deserve. They can support you throughout your recovery so you get all the help you need.If you were in one of these car accidents and need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a car accident attorney today for a free consultation.
Learn why and when you should hire a car accident lawyer for your claim by contacting our firm today!